My first 5-star read of 2022 was Finlay Donovan Is Killing It and I absolutely devoured that book, instantly falling in love with it so, of course, I had to pick up the sequel: Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead. I’m going to say it right now. If you enjoyed that first book, you’ll get on well with this one. I was nervous going into it, wondering if it would live up to the first book, but I ended up loving it just as much.

Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead is set not too long after the events of book one and it has a lot of the same characters. While Finlay continues to struggle with writing and deadlines, she is yet again thrust into the criminal world when her estranged husband becomes the target of a contract killer. 

This story is just as witty and mysterious and entertaining as the previous one. The plot is structured in such a way that everything builds gradually to the conclusion rather than rushing at the very end. In my review of the first book, I mentioned that it gave Good Girls vibes and that is also the case with Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead. That wonderful mix of comedy and drama is still ever-present. The first book did have the advantage of exploring themes and tropes and simply presenting the overall vibe of this series for the first time. That newness made for a great initial impact. Of course, with the sequel, that’s not the case but Elle Cosimano does a fantastic job at drawing us back into this world and creates such an exciting, easy read that it’s easy to become just as invested in it as the first one.

We get to learn more about the characters, particularly Vero, Finlay’s friend, babysitter, and partner in crime. Their dynamic is still such a delight to read about and that only increases as more details about them (both separately and together) are revealed to us as the story progresses. And it’s not just them. We learn more about other characters from the first book as well but regardless of whether a character is new or returning, none of them felt out of place or unnecessary.

In fact, every part of this book, whether it be the plot or characters, was an absolute joy. It’s a great ride from beginning to end and I loved diving into this world with these characters. So much happens in Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead and it sets up nicely for what will hopefully be a fantastic third book. If you haven’t already, you should definitely look into this series and consider reading it for yourself!

Rating: ★★★★★ /5

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